Once in a while, there’s a story that we can agree on. The story of Ahmaud Arbery is just that. Wednesday, a jury in Georgia found three men involved in his murder guilty on all charges. Thankfully.
There is no justification for what happened here.
Travis McMichael, his father Greg, and their neighbor, William Bryan saw a Black man in their neighborhood. They say they thought he looked familiar, accusing him of being a thief. So they decided to take action. They loaded up firearms, got in their cars, and chased Ahmaud down as he jogged through their neighborhood. These three men were hoping to make a ‘citizen’s arrest,’ which is still legal in Georgia.
The McMichaels and their neighbor turned into vigilantes, taking the law into their own hands, without any proof Ahmaud was the man they accused him to be. They attempted to trap him. Using their trucks and firearms.
If three strange men drove up to you in two trucks, pulled out firearms, and pointed them at you, what would you do? Willingly go with them? Would you put up a fight? We’ll never know what Ahmaud was thinking at that moment because that was the moment he was murdered. He could have been wondering what these three vigilantes might do to him if they took him into their custody while pretending to be cops.
One can only imagine being in Ahmaud’s situation.
At that moment, in the middle of a 911 call, where Greg McMichael said, ‘I’m out here at Satilla Shores. There’s a Black male running down the street.’ As if that’s a crime. To them it apparently was.
In the middle of that 911 call, Greg tells his son Travis to stop the truck, saying, ‘stop right there. Damn it, stop, Travis. That’s when a fight between Travis and Ahmaud ensued as the two other men stood by, the neighbor filming it on his cell phone. Three men versus one. Three men with guns versus one unarmed man. That’s the moment Ahmaud was murdered.
Every action, in this case, was perpetrated by the McMichaels and Bryan, the neighbor. That’s why they were found guilty. Rightfully so.
A young man, 25-years old, is dead because of their actions. He doesn’t get to live his life. Ahmaud doesn't have the opportunity to get married or have kids. He doesn’t get to pursue his dreams.
Because he was murdered by three white people who, if we are being honest, didn’t like a Black man running through their neighborhood. This was a cut and dry case.
There are many cries about injustices in America. Ahmaud’s case is truly that. A case that brought back memories of how life was in the south for many Black men and women throughout history. Where mobs could chase them down and lynch them.
Back then, those murderers got away with it.
Today, Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael, and William Bryan did not. Justice prevailed. A jury of 11 white people and 1 Black person came together to send them to jail for life.
Ahmaud’s story is incredibly tragic and colossally sad. While his family and friends’ lives will never be the same, Ahmaud's life can serve as a reminder of our humanity and how much more alike we are than we think.